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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Auguste Forel   28 September [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept. 28th

Dear Sir

I thank you sincerely for your magnificent present of your great work on the ants of Switzerland,2—a work worthy of the country of P. Huber.3 I will soon read it, & I am sure it will interest me greatly, for I have always felt the most lively curiosity about these insects, the most wonderful in the world.— If you can read English, I would advise you to read Mr. Belt’s “The Naturalist in Nicaragua” (1874): it contains much most curious matter about ants.4

With much respect & my thanks | I remain Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

P.S. I have opened my note to thank you for your extremely kind letter just received, which has given me much pleasure. It was very good of you to point out the more interesting passages, but I shall certainly look through the whole work.5



The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Auguste Forel, 23 September 1874.
Jean Pierre Huber (see letter from Auguste Forel, 23 September 1874 and n. 5)
CD had been particularly interested in Thomas Belt’s description of the feeding habits of leaf-carrying ants in Belt 1874 (see letter to Fritz Müller, 1 January 1874, and letter from Fritz Müller, 20 April [1874]).


Forel, Auguste. 1874. Les fourmis de la Suisse. Zurich: Zurcher & Furrer. [Neue Denkschriften allgemeinen schweizerischen Gesellschaft für die gesammten Naturwissenschaften / Nouveaux mémoires de la Société helvétique des sciences vol. 26.]


Thanks AHF for his book on ants of Switzerland;

recommends reading Thomas Belt’s Naturalist in Nicaragua [1874].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Auguste-Henri (Auguste) Forel
Sent from
Source of text
Universität Zürich, Archiv für Medizingeschichte (AfM ZH PN 31.2:792)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9661,” accessed on 4 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22